Frank Gehry


Danziger Studio,Frank Gehry, 1965
[Image credit: © Michael Moran]

Frank Gehry’s Danziger house and studio offers a critical architecture parallel to Ruscha’s artwork. Danziger is perhaps the stepchild of a love affair between the dingbat and early minimalism. Gehry, like Ruscha, was apparently attracted to the banal, vernacular and everyday-ness of the dingbat and elevated the type from vernacular to high architecture in his dingbat remix. Built along busy Melrose Avenue, for a painter to use as a live/work space, this particular stucco box had the blankest facade in modern memory. Danziger embodies the characteristics of the “specific object” as defined by Donald Judd in his landmark essay of 1965. As built form it has more in common with a Judd or Tony Smith sculpture, or perhaps a Schindler composition in stucco, than it does with the dominant forms of modernist architecture prevalent in Los Angeles at the time.

[Text from Barbara Bestor’s Essay “Deeply Superficial: Excavating the Dingbat from the Art and Architecture Canon,” featured in the Dingbat 2.0 publication].